Save on office supplies at Amazon.


Coming in April: Quoting famous writers from A to Z on writing

Working in Words has signed on the proverbial dotted line to participate in the 2016 April A to Z Blogging Challenge. That’s a commitment to publish 26 alphabetical posts during the month of April.

Phew! Who’s playing along?

It’s time to reveal Working in Words’ 2016 theme for the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. Ready, set go. Here it is: Quoting famous writers from A to Z on writing.

Hope you’ll c’mon back throughout the month to read savvy statements from well-known wordsmiths, from Asimov to Zola.

A to Z Blogging Challenge promo logo – fair use
Graphic adapted from public domain image

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter.


5 ways to invite more blog comments

Most bloggers understand the importance of encouraging readers to comment on posts. This activity affirms bloggers, letting them know folks are finding and interacting with their work. It also encourages repeat visits to such sites.

How can bloggers raise their odds of receiving plentiful reader comments?

Lots of bloggers participate in blog carnivals, blogging contests, blogging challenges (such as the April A to Z Blogging Challenge), blog prompt sites (such as the Meme Express or Simply Snickers), NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month), or other blogging events. These highlights are prime opportunities for bumping up blog comments. But it takes a little know-how.

Here are five steps a blogger can take to make commenting easier and more appealing for readers.

1. Enable blog comments. This sounds pretty straightforward, but a surprising number of bloggers do not check out the comment settings for their blogs. To maximize comments, choose the most open settings.

2. Lose the +CAPTCHA codes. These are the jumbled words (or numbers or a combination of both) that make readers' eyes hurt. They must type the characters into a box before their blog comments will be posts. Lots of readers skip commenting, if this requirement pops up on a blog.
Sample CAPTCHA code

3. Curate comments to remove spam. Sales pitches and nonsensical spam comments that do not relate to your blog posts can detract from your site's credibility in readers' eyes, and they can also dilute your site's influence in search engine rankings. Most blog host sites (such as Blogger and Wordpress) enable bloggers to delete comments at will.

4. Cut out the techno-clutter. Remove slow-loading widgets, music/video playlists, and other gadgets that prevent your blog pages from loading promptly. Visiting readers (especially first-timers) may not stick around long enough for all of those whiz-bang devices to pop up.

5. Visit other bloggers' sites, and always comment. Networking runs both ways. A comment-less stop is a wasted errand, from a networking standpoint. Sure, you may be enriched personally or professionally by what you read on another blog, but you surely won't be inviting visits in return. If you'd like to receive comments, then you will want to create rational and relevant comments on other sites as well.

It’s OK to leave a link to your own blog in a comment on another blogger’s post, but the message you leave should have some substance. It’s not enough to say, “Nice post.” A comment that invites reciprocation should show you actually read a post.

For more information, you can read "Boost your blog’s readership by commenting."

Should a blogger reply to comments on his or her own blog site?

This question stymies many. Yes, it seems polite and professional to answer blog comments. On the other hand, many hit-and-run comment-writers will never even notice such replies, unless they have activated a notification service for replies (which many blog hosts do not even offer).

Regular readers generally do not circle back to blog posts they have already read, just to see if their comments have received feedback. So replying is a personal choice.

Created on quote generator

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter.


How to make a simple screenshot of a web page

If you wanted to save a copy of something you saw online, do you know how to capture it into an image file? It’s easy, once you know how.

First, it’s not necessary to pull out a camera or smart phone and snap a blurry, glare-filled photo, which will probably include your own reflection on the screen. Here’s a much better way.

Screensaver how-to's:

  1. Go to the web page you want to save. Make it full-screen, if you can.
  2. Depress the CTRL (control) and PRT SCR (print screen) buttons on your computer keyboard at the same time. This captures and copies the web page.
  3. Open a simple image editing program, such as PAINT. Click the file menu to create a new image file.
  4. Depress the CTRL and V keys simultaneously to paste the web page into the image file.
  5. Crop the margins of the image file, as desired. Save the file.

Boom! That’s it.

Your screenshot is ready for keeping or sharing.

Newer computer systems offer simpler means of producing screenshots. But this method works on systems of nearly any age.

Why are screenshots handy?

Screenshots are handy for illustrating online articles or blog posts, recording interesting online content, or tracking potentially useful discussion threads on various websites. Plenty of internet users have kept screenshots of threatening comments or posts that may have evidentiary implications. And others have retained copies of images they simply liked.

Art and content producers often keep screenshots of their work, once it appears online, in case those websites should disappear at some point. Screenshots also make useful documentation of infringing copy or pirated work, if recourse is to be taken.

*** Bookmark this page for future reference on making screenshots. ***

But here’s a warning.

It’s illegal to reproduce copyrighted images or content, even via screenshots. Just because it’s easy to capture and copy something found online does not make it legal or ethical to do so. Permission is still required for reproduction, unless the content is in the public domain, or the screenshot maker actually owns the copyright.

Adapted from public domain artwork

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter.